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How to Select a Contractor for Your Home Improvement Project

Fran Beaulieu

September 3, 2021

When you’ve decided you’re ready to complete a big residential home improvement project, selecting a quality contractor is the next most important decision. Whether you’re getting a new deck installed, replacing your roof or siding, or even adding a new room in your home, the contractor you use can be the difference between a successful or a failed project. With so many residential home improvement professionals available in your area, it’s hard to know who to trust and what to look for. We’ve provided you with a few tips on how to select a quality contractor no matter what your residential home improvement project entails.

Interview Multiple Contractors

Never select the first contractor you talk to. While it’s possible they might sound like a quality contractor and would be a perfect fit for your job, it’s in your best interests to talk to multiple contractors. You still might come back to the first contractor you talked to, but at least you’ll have some knowledge about the other options available to you. When talking to contractors on the phone, ask them the same questions to see what answers they provide. Describe the residential home improvement project you’re pursuing and ask if they have done them before, whether they have references, what other projects they have in progress, and more. You should be able to trim your list of four or five contractors down to two or three after phone interviews.

Seek Out Recommendations

Don’t underestimate the power of seeking out recommendations with any residential home improvement project you want to tackle. A family-owned home improvement business relies on these recommendations to earn future business, so they are usually good options to consider. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and family members in the area and ask what residential home improvement projects they've completed recently. They can tell you whether they had a quality contractor or if they would recommend choosing someone else.

Discuss Your Project In Person

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, bring each quality contractor to your home to discuss the project. Depending on the complexity of the project, each contractor might have different ideas or suggestions to complete the finished product. Take notes on everything they say and pay close attention to all the details. Ask them what materials they would use as well so you can make an accurate comparison among the contractors you bring to your home. Sometimes the in-person interview can eliminate contractors from consideration simply because you don’t have a good feeling about working with them.

Ensure The Contractor Is Licensed, Bonded, And Insured

Any quality contractor should be licensed, bonded, and insured to protect themselves, you, and their employees. Whether you’re working with a small family-owned home improvement business or a large company, they should be willing to provide you with proof of this information so you can have peace of mind when they are working on your residential home improvement project. If the contractor is hesitant about providing you with this information or simply tells you to take their word for it, you might want to consider other options.

Understand Who Will Be Doing The Work

If you’ve never had a residential home improvement project completed before, you’ll want to know who will be in and out of your house throughout the project. Some contractors will use subcontractors to get certain aspects of the job done. Most of the time there’s no harm in this because the subcontractor is more experienced than the main contractor in that area. However, you’ll still want to learn about whether they use subcontractors so you can get a feel for whether they are a quality contractor or not. A family-owned home improvement business usually doesn’t work with subcontractors, but it’s still worth it to ask.

Get A Detailed Agreement In Writing

Once you’ve settled on a quality contractor for your residential home improvement project, be sure to get all of the details in writing. The contractor should type up a formal contract for you to review that explains the workmanship, materials, warranty, timeline, and other factors. Read these details closely and make sure that everything matches what you talked about. Don’t hesitate to ask them to revise the contract if something is unclear or is different from what was discussed verbally. You don’t want to put your signature on a contract and then be on the hook for unexpected costs in the future if repairs are needed.

Use Local Contractors Whenever Possible

Local contractors are beneficial because they know what materials to use for your area. Plus, if they want to stay in business and have a great reputation in the area, then they’ll have to do a great job to continue receiving recommendations and referrals. Using a local family-owned home improvement business that has been around for decades can give you even more peace of mind that your project will be done the right way.

Beaulieu & Sons has helped homeowners make their houses feel like homes for more than 50 years. We are ready to tackle any residential home improvement project you have and will answer all of your questions as thoroughly as possible. Allow us to earn your business by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.

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